Putin-Trump Bringing Progress to Syria, War Party Responds by Escalating Against Trump by Harley Schlanger – Rogue Money
July 14 — In an action which demonstrated true leadership and courage, U.S. President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for more than two hours on July 7, during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. While the two addressed a broad range of strategic issues facing the two great powers, perhaps the most important immediate result was an agreement to jointly enforce a ceasefire in an area of southwestern Syria, as a step towards ending that horrific civil war, and defeating the Al Qaeda/Al Nusra and ISIS jihadist forces, which have inflicted such suffering on the Syrian people. U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson said this agreement demonstrates that the U.S. and Russia can collaborate. “This is our first indication of the United States and Russia being able to work together in Syria.” Putin and Trump, he said, had a “lengthy discussion of other areas in Syria where we can work together.”
Tillerson commented on the “positive chemistry” which developed between the two, as key to the progress made. This view was seconded by the White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who said the creation of these “de-escalation zones” is a U.S. priority, “and we’re encouraged by the progress made to reach this agreement.” He added, “The U.S. remains committed to defeating ISIS, helping to end the conflict in Syria, reducing suffering, and enabling people to return to their homes. This agreement is an important step toward these common goals.”
President Trump’s initial reaction to this development was to tweet out, “Syrian ceasefire seems to be holding, Many lives can be saved. Came out of meeting (with Putin — HS). Good!” This view was shared by the U.N. Deputy Special envoy for Syria, who described this as “a positive development.” Six days later, the ceasefire continues, with Russian military police coordinating efforts with U.S. and Jordanian military forces around the de-escalation zone. A joint Russian-U.S.-Jordan monitoring station is now operational in Amman, Jordan. As this is occurring, momentum is building to expel ISIS from its remaining stronghold in Syria, in Raqqa, following their defeat at the hands of Iraqi forces in Mosul.
Since a military victory alone is not enough, given the damage done to the cities and villages, and infrastructure in Syria, a meeting of great significance occurred in Beijing on July 9, during which the Syrian Ambassador to China met with officials to discuss what role China could play in reconstructing Syria. A delegation of Chinese business leaders will visit Syria in mid-August, to discuss projects in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. Among those involved will be the state-owned China Energy Engineering Corporation, and several major construction and engineering firms. Among the projects under consideration is building a Chinese-Syrian industrial park for 150 companies, creating 40,000 jobs.
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